One Small Change Can Make a Big Difference

March 18, 2024

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Photo By Alexas Fotos For Pexels

Have you ever had one of those days when you want to chuck it all, sell off all your belongings, and move to a tropical island where you will earn a living peddling shaved ice by the sea?

No? Just me?

We’ve all heard a story of someone who has done just that.

The corporate exec who walked out one day and never came back and now paints seascapes while living off the land. The flight attendant who quit on the intercom and then escaped the jet by emergency slide. The woman who left her marriage to Eat, Pray, and Love around the world before writing a best-selling book about it.

Some of these stories are true. Some are embellished. Others are pure fantasy.

Who would you be if you’re not who you think you are?

We’ve all wondered at some point – or at least I have – would I be capable of such great change?

Most of us would not.

We’re tentative. We’re habitual. We hold onto what we know best, even if it’s not entirely joyful or fulfilling.

We wait for something to change, rather than changing something.

Because change is hard.

It’s also because we think of change as extreme turnarounds where you are one person one day and entirely different person the next. A complete 180!

And it usually doesn’t work like that.

Few of us are brave enough to walk away from it all, to pull that emergency slide, to wander the world for a year.

And… on whose dime would we do such a thing?

We have responsibilities and roles and reasons to stay put. We have jobs and families and pets and To-Do lists and lawns to mow and bills to pay and laundry to fold.

There are expectations thrust upon us from every direction.

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Art Installation

We can’t just walk away!

So we stay. Year after year after year.

When the years create a fog of dissatisfaction, when you’re finally sick of your own B.S., it’s time to change… something.

And it doesn’t need to be monumental to have an impact.

If you’re the type of person who can change everything all at once without looking back (new job, new home, new hobbies, new wardrobe, new partner, new face?), good for you.

You are a brave chameleon!

This is for the rest of us, those who stubbornly hold onto our original colors, who are fearful of taking that first step.

Which is why we just start with one.

Change something.

It doesn’t matter what it is. Change one small thing. It may be the one thing you need to do.

Action is the antidote to anxiety.

If you’ve always taken the same route to work, try a new one. If you eat the same sandwich for lunch every day, try a different kind. If you find you’re in the same discussions or arguments with the same people, try a different tactic.

Change your look. Wearing sweats every day since you’ve been working at home? Get a little dressed up.

Change your workout. Always go for a run? Try yoga on YouTube.

Change your habits. Watch TV while snacking on the couch? Try stretching or rolling out during your nightly viewing habits.

If you don’t like what you’ve tried, there’s no harm done. You haven’t made a permanent change like selling off all your possessions to peddle shaved ice by the sea.

Change one thing and see what happens next. Then change another.

Change opens up new pathways in our brains. It gets us uncomfortable, which helps us grow. Your newfound openness and flexibility will help for when you find change unexpectedly thrust upon you.

And, who knows, when all those changes add up over time, you may just find yourself where you longed to be.

On a beach painting seascapes, traveling the world, or simply enjoying some downtime to read about those who do.

Valerie gordon web1 one small change can make a big difference

Valerie Gordon, the founder of The Storytelling Strategist, is a 10x Emmy-winning television producer who pivoted her career in 2017 to share the power of storytelling with conference audiences and corporate clients. This big change came as the result of many smaller ones. She uses her blog to share advice, wisdom, and humor and her belief that everyone has a great, next chapter inside of them. 


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